The Laborer is Worthy of His Wages

Most of you know that I am a Christian and also a writer. Like most folks, I like to be paid for my work. And I think it is important, regardless of the company I am working with, to have an UP-FRONT understanding of the payment arrangement. And as much as I like being paid, I also like gifting my services to churches, friends, non-profits, etc when I feel led. But I am always aware whether the “gig” is a paid one or non-paid… except for one time.
 
I had a contract with a school. For two days I would share Being Frank to different classes. It was about an hour away and I chose to get up early and drive up and back both days. I charged for gas for both days, but I didn’t charge them for the actual “visit”. JUST GAS MILEAGE. The gig involved a contract that stated everything I was to be paid for. The visits were fun for all involved. A couple weeks later, I received a check for ONE day’s worth of mileage. When I called, they informed me that they were only paying me for one day b/c I could have stayed in a hotel (or some excuse like that). THE CONTRACT WAS CLEAR… but they didn’t adhere to it. I didn’t pursue it b/c I was new to school visits and was just in shock at the time.
A few months later, I received a letter inviting me to be part of an author’s night with others at their school. By that time, I wasn’t in shock anymore. I politely declined, citing my reasons and referencing their refusal to pay me the first time. They didn’t respond. Ever.
 
The link I’ve shared is a similar example of how sometimes artists (writers, painters, singers, etc) are often expected and assumed to provide their work for free iand are treated differently than other professions. If the company had asked a plumber or electrician to work for them, they would have been required to pay, unless there was a precedent set with that particular plumber or a verbal/written agreement that they were gifting their services.
I have enjoyed many articles by this magazine, and I am not here to shame them, but rather this is a call for them to do the right thing.  It’s happened many times to many writers, not just Christians and not just by this magazine.
 
I am fully aware that I am a sinner, saved by God’s grace. and I am so thankful! Grace is a wonderful thing and we are called to extend that to one another. We are also called to do what is right. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17-18 And in this case, I believe the magazine below needs to do what is right and pay the author who wrote the column for them. 
 
This has been a long post, I know, but if you click HERE and read the article I’ve referenced above (written by Paul Wilkinson), I’d love to know your thoughts on the situation.
p.s. this is in no way an endorsement Paul Wilkinson’s work as I really don’t know a whole lot about him or his viewpoints. But as a Christian, I do believe he deserves to be paid for the work he put into the article.
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STILL TIME TO CELEBRATE!

A majority of you know that I’m celebrating the five-year publication anniversary of my picture book, Being Frank. And I’d love for all of y’all to have a chance to get your name drawn for the grand prize on October 26! (please note the change in the date! Previously, I listed the wrong one!)

Our winner for this week’s book is Pj McIlvaine She wins the fantastic book, DRAGON and CAPTAIN written by P.R Allabach and illustrated by Lucas Turnbloom!

IF YOU haven’t yet entered, here is the link to sign up: https://1.shortstack.com/HjXww7 )

If you’ve entered, but have not yet shared the giveaway, I’d love for you to do that, too. It’s FREE! (But Make sure you use the hashtag #Frankaversary! )

 

The drawing on Monday will be for the final single book selection… BEING FRANK! (Happy book birthday, buddy!)

#FRANKAVERSARY Flashlight Press

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! THE FRANKAVERSARY CELEBRATION IS HERE!

frank

Five years ago, a dream came true…

Being Frank was published by Flashlight Press!

So in celebration of Frank’s 5th bookaversary, I’m giving away 5 different Flashlight Press books, one each week for five weeks!

If you haven’t already entered, check out this link for more information about the #Frankaversary giveaway and how to enter!—->>>>>> FRANKAVERSARY GIVEAWAY!

This week’s book prize is…. *drumroll*….

WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN AGAIN written by Jodi Moore, Children’s Author and illustrated by Howard McWilliam!  The winner will be randomly chosen on Monday, September 25th!original_ScreenHunter_18

Each week will be a different Flashlight Press book, so
Share this post and be sure to use the hashtag #Frankaversary

Don’t forget to tag the author, illustrator, @Flashlight Press, and me!

Feel free to share on any other form of social media!

For Our Daughters

Our middle girl turned 15 on Sunday. I can hardly believe it. Our oldest girl turns 20 in two weeks. In December, our youngest turns 14. This is for each one of them…

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly —
I know you want to soar
Your wings grow bolder
every day
and stronger than before…

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly–
the world’s not black and white
so let God’s wisdom
lead the way
and fuel your graceful flight

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly —
soak in God’s love… refill.
Don’t overthink
the simple things,
take time to just be still.

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly —
and let me hold your hand
for just a
little longer…
one day you’ll understand.

I know, I know,
my Butterfly —
God gave you wings to soar.
Keep growing bolder
every day
and stronger than before…

I know, I know
my Butterfly–
God’s got you in His sight
He’s wrapped you in
his wisdom and
ordained your graceful flight

I know, I know,
my Butterfly —
I need to just be still
and know that God is
guiding you,
wrapped in His perfect will.

I know, I know,
my Butterfly —
God holds you in His hand
and loves you even more than me?
One day I’ll understand.

But still, slow down,
my Butterfly,
I know you’re gonna soar.
‘Cause every day
you’re bolder,
braver,
stronger than before…

— Donna Earnhardt, August 2017

Dear Mothers, Daughters, Aunts, Grandmas, and Sisters of the World,

For most of us, there are days when we feel like our best “efforts” and best laid plans just aren’t cutting the mustard…

and it feels more like we’re cutting the cheese.

Yeah. I just made a fart joke. #sorrynotsorry

But come on, y’all, be real. Some days just stink. Maybe for you, that stinky, bad day was yesterday? Maybe it’s today? Maybe you aren’t looking forward to tomorrow?

Some days are harder than others. It’s a fact. And pretending that it’s not the truth won’t change a thing.

Too often, though, we try to hide our struggles with our kids, our jobs, our relationships, our “whatevers”. We feel the need to don our worn-out superwoman cape so the world can see how much we’ve “got it together”… but in reality? Those are the days we limp through– bent over like Atlas with the weight of the world on our shoulders.

Why do we do that?

We aren’t meant to walk alone.
We aren’t meant to carry the world on our shoulders.
We aren’t meant to try and walk in our own strength.

In Matthew 11: 28-30, Jesus says: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (THE MESSAGE)

And in Galatians 6:1-3 it says, “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”

Wow. Those verses! I am thankful to be surrounded by women who talk to me and listen to me. We share our joys, our struggles, our sorrows, our triumphs, our “whatevers”! (You know who you are!) We don’t pretend that life is always pinterest-perfect. And if we tried to? I can guarantee there would be an intervention of some sort. It would probably involve chocolate, hugs, and lots of REAL talk.

Being fake takes too much effort. I don’t have the time or energy for that. Seriously, friends… I barely have time to take a shower some days. (But I did take one today. YOU ARE WELCOME.) Trying to do this life on our own is an exercise in futility… and it will wear us down to nub.

So don’t go it alone. Reach out. Take off that worn out cape and take on the “yoke” of Jesus. Make the choice to put it on. “Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.”

One last thing — there is something good to be said about the stinky, hard days in our lives: If we will allow the Lord to use them — they can be great fertilizer for better, more fruitful days to come! (Yes. I really believe that. Mostly because I’ve seen him do it my life again and again!)
Happy Saturday, y’all!!

p.s. Sometimes God gives us inspiration from “weird” places. There is a children’s book out there right now that makes me laugh every time I read it. It’s called, ALMOST EVERYBODY FARTS by Marty Kelley. This book kept coming to mind as I was writing this post. I won’t give away the ending – but if you want to borrow it, I’ll lend it to you.

 

p.s.2. If you’re a teacher, mom, or work any a field that involves other human beings, I bet you’ll relate to these memes!

This.

This. 

And This. 

Ironing Things Out

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens a friend’s character.
Proverbs 27:17
I’ve been on a workout kick with my dear friend, Sandra, for the last few weeks. We’ve been drinking our water (lots and lots and lots), eating more protein, eating less sweets, and encouraging one another every day to “keep on going”.
If I didn’t receive her text me every morning, I’m not so sure I’d be nearly as motivated to get my physical therapy homework and additional exercise done.
For me, there is something motivational about being held to a standard. 
I’ve been going to physical therapy for several months now. Last week, Rusty (my physical therapist) told me to jump up on a 4 inch block. *GRRRRR!*
I could NOT make myself jump. I was scared to death. He switched it out for the 2 inch tall box. I stood there, looking at it. It felt like it took me FOREVER to get up the courage to jump 2 little inches off the ground! I was so mad at me for not being able to do it. I thought about it all week.

Today, he immediately brought out the 4-inch box… my nemesis. 

This is how I felt…

arch-nemesis_o_1624417

BUT this time… it did not take forever.

AND… I jumped on that 4-inch box 15 times.

YES. I. DID!

My physical therapist knows just how to push my buttons. And when I don’t feel like I’ve reached my goals in PT, I always go home feeling like I need to do MORE. So I keep stretching and working on the things I need to work, hoping that the next week I will do better.

But what happens when my physical therapy is done? And what happens if Sandra is out of town and can’t text for some reason? Do I stop working toward the goal?

NO.

I have realized that I also have internal motivation. I want to be healthy for me, for my family, for whatever the Lord has planned for me day to day and for the days coming up. I don’t know that I’ve felt this much drive to get healthy in a long, long time.. .maybe ever! Many times I would “try” to lose weight and get healthy – then stop when I didn’t see results. But this time, it’s different. I can’t explain it. I just know.

And these verses speaks to my soul in a big, big way… so I’m claiming it for my life!

God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40: 28-31 (the Message)

I’d love to hear your success stories. Have you been on a physical journey that required internal motivation to get started and/or to keep going? Did you have others on your journey who helped to sharpen your character and hold you to a standard? How have you seen God at work in your circumstances?

Congratulations to all the winners

Damon Dean, my worthy opponent, won our matchup in the 3rd round of the MADNESS POETRY competition. Congratulations, my poetic friend! Emily Weaver (another poetry buddy) won her matchup as well! WAY TO GO, Y’ALL!

He is now pitted against Hannah Holt. Voting starts tomorrow at 10am! There only a few matchups left in the competition. Show your poetry love by heading over there tomorrow to read and vote for your favorites!

My consolation in the last matchup is that I won the student vote. This means…

camel

(thanks to meme generator and whoever created this crazy pic. It made me giggle!)

 

Last day to vote for Round 3!

Hi y’all! This is the last day to vote in the 3rd round of the Madness Poetry Competition! I am up against a really good poet, Damon Dean. You’ll find his lovely poem pitted against my gross poem here: http://madnesspoetry.com/matchup/likened-vs-abundant-1488171423262×802710174582898600

There are 7 other matchups that need votes, too! If you get a chance, I know all the poets would appreciate your input. ALSO – if you are a teacher, your classrooms can vote, too!

Sweet Sixteen

So… I’ve made it into the sweet sixteen… of poetry, that is! Huge thanks to all who have been reading and voting over at Madnesspoetry.com. I know I can speak for all the poets and say… Y’ALL ROCK. 🙂

We receive our new words tomorrow evening. I’ll keep you posted!